Douglas A. Vakoch (ed.), Dystopias and Utopias on Earth and Beyond. Feminist Ecocriticism of Science Fiction, Routledge, 2021
Caught as we are in a grave climate crisis that seems more irreversible with every passing year, our literary portrayals of the future often feature the dystopian collapse of the world as we know it. Science fiction explores how we got here, while pointing toward a more hopeful path forward. From an ecofeminist perspective, a core cause of our current ecological catastrophe is the patriarchal domination of nature, playing out in parallel with the oppression of women. As an alternative to dystopian futures that seem increasingly inevitable, ecofeminist science fiction helps us conjure utopias that promote environmental sustainability based on more egalitarian human relationships.
Dystopias and Utopias on Earth and Beyond: Feminist Ecocriticism of Science Fiction explores the fictional worlds of such canonical novelists as Margaret Atwood, Octavia Butler, Ursula K. Le Guin, Doris Lessing, and Joan Slonczewski, as well as those of lesser-known science fiction writers, as they collectively probe humanity’s greatest existential threats. Contributors from five continents provide compelling analyses of far future dystopias on Earth that are all too easy to imagine becoming reality if humankind’s current trajectory continues, as well as provocative insights into science fiction utopias set on idyllic planets orbiting distant stars, which offer liberatory alternatives that might someday be actualized in the real world. By examining the links between the destruction of the environment and the domination of women, Dystopias and Utopias on Earth and Beyond provides the tools to counteract those intertwined oppressions, helping create a foundation for a truly habitable world.